Somebody on twitter quoted this and said it is found in
[ Tarikh Baghdad - Khatib ]

But I couldn’t find it because I can’t read arabic

also is the quote authentically narrated from Maalik?


  • 1
    There are many statements showing the dispute and accusations between ahl al-Hadith (al-Athar) and ahl ar-Ra'y some of these are rather authentic others not. As these are hardly related to fiqh or Shari'a none would waste much efforts in checking their authenticity more than superficially.
    – Medi1Saif
    Dec 12, 2021 at 9:06

2 Answers 2


First of all, you should know that the standards in books of Tareekh (history or biography) are much lower than in hadith compilations.

One could safely say that a report that doesn't reach the level of da'if in a hadith compilation is more than acceptable in a history book. And Tareekh Baghdaad, even if it includes useful hadith narrations -because al-Khateeb al-Baghdady is a great hadith scholar and hafidh- of all levels of authenticity when it moves on reports about people after the time of the prophet () is a book on history.

The report in Tareekh Baghdad

Having this said we can move to the report you seemingly are referring to in Tareekh Baghdad كتاب تاريخ بغداد (here):
In the following I'll translate from Arabic language, as these translations are of my own rake them carefully.

أخبرنا ابن الفضل، قال: أخبرنا عبد الله بن جعفر بن درستويه، قال: حدثنا يعقوب بن سفيان، قال: حدثني الحسن بن الصباح، قال: حدثنا إسحاق بن إبراهيم الحنيني، قال: قال مالك: ما ولد في الإسلام مولود أضر على أهل الإسلام من أبي حنيفة،
We were informed by ibn Fadl who said we were informed by 'Abdullah ibn Ja'afar ibn Durustawayh, who said: we were informed by Ya'aqoob ibn Sufyan, who said; I was informed by al-Hassan ibn as-Sabah, who said we were informed by Ishaaq ibn Ibraheem al-Haniny who said. Malik said:" No newborn was born in Islam more harmful for the people of Islam than abu Hanifah".

Al-Khateeb al-Bgahdadi certainly has narrated this via trustworthy scholars. However, the student of imam Malik who reported this statement (Ishaaq ibn Ibraheem) is regarded as da'if (weak) by the majority of scholars and he is the major weakness here.

However similar statements were also reported by Sufyan a-Thawry as stated later (source):

سمعت سفيان الثوري، يقول: ما ولد في الإسلام مولود أشأم على أهل الإسلام منه

Note that al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi mentioned this in the chapter of negative reports about abu Hanifa:

ذكر ما حكي عنه من مستشنعات الألفاظ والأفعال (source)
Mentioning of the exaggerated words and acts which were narrated about him (abu Hanifa)

Note that all the people who made such statements are rather people known to be followers of the Athari school and even known as Hafidh or Amir al-Mu'mineen fi al-Hadith among the ummah.

One may add that Athari scholars may have regarded people using analogy (qiyas etc.) instead of weak ahadith equal to qur'anists who reject the sunnah at all. And that's why they regarded these people as harmful or bad because they feared them to be the cause for ignoring the sunnah of the prophet().

So it should be clear that this can be counted among the exaggerated statements describing abu Hanifa with negative attributes.

This was mentioned after other sub-chapters on the reports about:

  • his position about going against a leader. (source in Arabic)
  • on the creation of the qur'an. (source in Arabic) ...

The competition between ahl al-Athar (hadith) and ahl ar-Ra'y

In fact among the 13 sub-chapters starting with his biography only four of them including the above three and one about the statements of scholars about his use of "Ray" can be regarded as a collection of negative reports and similarly, you may find some reports in the corresponding chapters including biographies on any other imam.
Note that some of these statements might be regarded as a good fit for positive and negative statements depending on the context one sets or interprets them.

For example, among the defamation, some early Hanafi's used to propagate is the false claim that imam Malik regarded mut'a marriage as legal. And it is widely known that imam al-Bukhari held a very negative attitude on Hanafi scholars and didn't mention them by name in his books including his sahih (he referred to them by "some", "some people" and "others"). In fact, you won't find any scholar who has only been praised and not defamed at all. Imam a-Shafi'i both praised abu Hanfiah in his poems and by saying that the ummah is in debt to abu Hanifa in the topic of fiqh, while he defamed him elsewhere.

From today's perspective, we may call most of these kinds of statements and reports as "fake news". They were made with the intent to warn one's followers from an "evil person" or from joining the opposite school of thought.

All this only reflects the "competition" and opposed positions of scholars of al-Athar rely in first place on hadith and statements of the sahabah and those of Ra'y who due to a lack of hadith knowledge or simply because they had a higher standard in accepting a hadith narration (tawatur vs. ahaad) used analogy instead of relaying to a hadith they regarded as weak.

In fact, a temporary scholar concluded that when it comes to using Ra'y abu Hanifa is closer to sunnah than Malik.

From approximately the 6th or 7th Hijri centuries on historians avoided sharing such fake news and quoted them (rather) expressing their doubts about their truth, as most madhhabs were established and accepted by the ummah.

  • Ibn Abdul barr said the praise for Abu hanifah exceeded his criticism Feb 8 at 9:29

I searched the online library and found such a thing. In the history of Baghdad, he quotes Malik ibn Anas: The sedition of Abu Hanifa, the harm to this nation is more than the sedition of Iblis. Or I heard Malik (the head of the Malikis) say: In Islam, no more sinister child has been born than Abu Hanifa. I found these in the book History of Baghdad for al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, vol. 13, p. 396, and he wrote this.

https://www.adyannet.com/fa/news/14040 http://www.masaha.org/book/view/2742-%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%AE-%D8%A8%D8%BA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AF

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